Let Us Help You Become More Profitable

Many of our clients are young individuals that would consider themselves fairly educated investors. But being educated on the stock market or on the bond market simply isn’t enough to ensure that your current and future investments give you the return that you are seeking. Not only must you be constantly aware of what is going on in the markets, but you need also to be conscious of what time of investments you should be making during each period of your life. When gambling in a risky market such as the stock market, individuals investing for themselves need to know the basic analytics necessary to achieve success. It is also crucial to know how you should be balancing your accounts, and how to properly manage them.

When analyzing stocks to purchase there are about a million different factors that need to be considered, and every stock analyst will go on to tell you their personal opinion on which statistics are best to consider before making a purchase. The truth in the matter is that at the end of the day the stock market is just legal gambling that is truly unpredictable. Yes, there are ways to possibly see what the future of companies will hold when examining some stocks, but if you don’t spend the majority of each day educating yourself on the markets, you probably won’t have an idea on what the future holds for most companies.

A few key elements to analyze when making a stock portfolio are the Beta, dividends paid, and the company’s earnings. The beta provides you with an idea of how that particular stock will be affected with a change in the economy and stock market as a whole. A proper stock portfolio built for success should have stocks with a wide range of betas. This can ensure protection over your account if there is ever another stock market crash. It can also provide you with protection while the stock market is progressively moving forward at a solid rate. Dividends are definitely something to be considered when making a stock purchase. Either companies can choose to pay out dividends to their shareholders or they can dump that money back into the operation to try to improve their business.

Many people like dividends when purchasing stocks for the short-term. We all know that stocks are meant to be a long-term investment, but many people still try to profit off of them in the short-term. Personally, I do not invest in many companies that pay large dividends to their shareholders because I’d prefer them to use that money to grow their business and drive their stock price as high as possible. Don’t get me wrong, money now is always better than money later, but when trying to optimize a long-term investment I’d rather be patient and watch the company’s success go through the roof in a few years than make an extra five dollars per stock each year right now.

How to Make Informed Investments

Preparation is the name of the game. The Chicago Bulls would never have won six championships if it wasn’t for the countless hours that Michael Jordan put in the gym throughout his entire life, and the endless game planning that he had undergone before every single game of his career. This kind of preparation, mixed with an unnatural athletic ability, was the reason that he had reached the level of success that he had. In the world of investing however, one does not need to possess any particular natural talents or abilities. The key characteristics of a truly successful investor include knowledge and preparation. Even the most experienced and successful investors in the world today are constantly searching for ways to improve themselves on a day to day basis. All of the best investors are not only informed on what industries to invest in and when, but also informed on what kind of position they are in at any given time, and aware of the best kind of investments for them at that particular moment in time.

Continually being conscious of your financial position during all points of your investing career and knowing yourself as an investor inside and out is crucially important when determining the level of risk that you should be taking on and when. If you are someone that finds themselves particularly interested in long term investments that will ensure a fairly moderate amount of return on investment, then there are a multitude of options for you. We all know that with the all-time low interest rates we are experiencing right now, savings accounts are not an effecting way of collecting interest at all.

Personally, I believe that the two best long-term investments include certificates of deposit (CD’s) as well as bonds. CD’s are just about as low risk as they come. These are especially nice because they are insured $250,000 by the FDIC, so as long as you are diversifying the CD’s that you purchase, you’re 100 percent certain that you will be receiving the promised amount of money back. By this I mean that when purchasing CD’s you should open up multiple of them and never let them reach $250,000 before maturity if you want to be 100 percent certain of receiving the promised amount of money on time. They typically range between 6 month investments to 30 year investments. The longer away the date to maturity, the higher the interest rate on that particular CD. The best way to ensure a solid return on investment as well as a steady flow of income from a CD would be to have many different ones with a range of maturity dates that span from the short term to the very long term.

The “Experts” Are Getting Crypto All Wrong

Bitcoin peaked about a month ago, on December 17, at a high of nearly $20,000. As I write, the cryptocurrency is under $11,000… a loss of about 45%. That’s more than $150 billion in lost market cap.

Cue much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth in the crypto-commentariat. It’s neck-and-neck, but I think the “I-told-you-so” crowd has the edge over the “excuse-makers.”

Here’s the thing: Unless you just lost your shirt on bitcoin, this doesn’t matter at all. And chances are, the “experts” you may see in the press aren’t telling you why.

In fact, bitcoin’s crash is wonderful… because it means we can all just stop thinking about cryptocurrencies altogether.

The Death of Bitcoin…

In a year or so, people won’t be talking about bitcoin in the line at the grocery store or on the bus, as they are now. Here’s why.

Bitcoin is the product of justified frustration. Its designer explicitly said the cryptocurrency was a reaction to government abuse of fiat currencies like the dollar or euro. It was supposed to provide an independent, peer-to-peer payment system based on a virtual currency that couldn’t be debased, since there was a finite number of them.

That dream has long since been jettisoned in favor of raw speculation. Ironically, most people care about bitcoin because it seems like an easy way to get more fiat currency! They don’t own it because they want to buy pizzas or gas with it.

Besides being a terrible way to transact electronically – it’s agonizingly slow – bitcoin’s success as a speculative play has made it useless as a currency. Why would anyone spend it if it’s appreciating so fast? Who would accept one when it’s depreciating rapidly?

Bitcoin is also a major source of pollution. It takes 351 kilowatt-hours of electricity just to process one transaction – which also releases 172 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s enough to power one U.S. household for a year. The energy consumed by all bitcoin mining to date could power almost 4 million U.S. households for a year.

Paradoxically, bitcoin’s success as an old-fashioned speculative play – not its envisaged libertarian uses – has attracted government crackdown.

China, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland and France have implemented, or are considering, bans or limitations on bitcoin trading. Several intergovernmental organizations have called for concerted action to rein in the obvious bubble. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which once seemed likely to approve bitcoin-based financial derivatives, now seems hesitant.

And according to Investing.com: “The European Union is implementing stricter rules to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing on virtual currency platforms. It’s also looking into limits on cryptocurrency trading.”

We may see a functional, widely accepted cryptocurrency someday, but it won’t be bitcoin.

… But a Boost for Crypto Assets

Good. Getting over bitcoin allows us to see where the real value of crypto assets lies. Here’s how.

To use the New York subway system, you need tokens. You can’t use them to buy anything else… although you could sell them to someone who wanted to use the subway more than you.

In fact, if subway tokens were in limited supply, a lively market for them might spring up. They might even trade for a lot more than they originally cost. It all depends on how much people want to use the subway.

That, in a nutshell, is the scenario for the most promising “cryptocurrencies” other than bitcoin. They’re not money, they’re tokens – “crypto-tokens,” if you will. They aren’t used as general currency. They are only good within the platform for which they were designed.

If those platforms deliver valuable services, people will want those crypto-tokens, and that will determine their price. In other words, crypto-tokens will have value to the extent that people value the things you can get for them from their associated platform.

That will make them real assets, with intrinsic value – because they can be used to obtain something that people value. That means you can reliably expect a stream of revenue or services from owning such crypto-tokens. Critically, you can measure that stream of future returns against the price of the crypto-token, just as we do when we calculate the price/earnings ratio (P/E) of a stock.

Bitcoin, by contrast, has no intrinsic value. It only has a price – the price set by supply and demand. It can’t produce future streams of revenue, and you can’t measure anything like a P/E ratio for it.

One day it will be worthless because it doesn’t get you anything real.

Ether and Other Crypto Assets Are the Future

The crypto-token ether sure seems like a currency. It’s traded on cryptocurrency exchanges under the code ETH. Its symbol is the Greek uppercase Xi character. It’s mined in a similar (but less energy-intensive) process to bitcoin.

But ether isn’t a currency. Its designers describe it as “a fuel for operating the distributed application platform Ethereum. It is a form of payment made by the clients of the platform to the machines executing the requested operations.”

Ether tokens get you access to one of the world’s most sophisticated distributed computational networks. It’s so promising that big companies are falling all over each other to develop practical, real-world uses for it.

Because most people who trade it don’t really understand or care about its true purpose, the price of ether has bubbled and frothed like bitcoin in recent weeks.

But eventually, ether will revert to a stable price based on the demand for the computational services it can “buy” for people. That price will represent real value that can be priced into the future. There’ll be a futures market for it, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), because everyone will have a way to assess its underlying value over time. Just as we do with stocks.